I bought one of the first professional grade point and shoot cameras, the Canon S90 for our trip around the Atlantic. A couple drops of sea water
did in the lens protective shutter after 3000 pictures. I then bought the same upgraded model, the S95 and took 5000 more pictures.
The bottom line...you will only carry a point and shoot size camera
on most occasions. This will allow you obtain memorable pictures in nearly every setting and venue. These are pictures you will not be able to take with a larger camera
because it will be back on the boat. You will have 10 excuses not to haul a larger camera around.
The point and shoot size fits in pockets of your blue jean and shorts and you never notice it until you need to take a picture.
I used a friends $5000 Nikon on an excursion in the Canary Islands. All I did was lug it around. When I wanted to use it I had to dig it out of the pack and then out of the protective case. At the resturants that we stopped at I worried about someone stealing it as it is a large desirable target. When getting out of the car I worried about it getting stolen from the car.
Just my real world practical experience!!